News on the revision of the maritime spatial plans
In 2009, the first maritime spatial plans for the German exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the North Sea and Baltic Sea came into force. Since then, conditions and spatial demands changed considerably. Uses such as offshore wind energy are developing more rapidly than anticipated, while demands from traditional uses, such as shipping and fisheries are not diminishing. The sea is also increasingly being used for transboundary infrastructure (cables, pipelines).
The BSH looks back on 10 years of experience with MSP. It provided a reliable framework for the uses in the EEZ and had a particular impact – also via the sectoral planning – on the expansion of offshore wind energy. With the approval of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI), the BSH carries out the preparatory procedural steps for preparing the maritime spatial plans for the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Federal Republic of Germany. The revision of the current maritime spatial plans was initiated in June 2019.
According to § 8 ROG, a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) of the maritime spatial plan is required. This involves preparing an environmental report that describes and assesses the likely significant impacts of implementing the maritime spatial plan on the marine environment. At the beginning of the SEA process, the content, scope and level of detail of the environmental report are defined within the scope of the assessment. In addition, a status report on spatial planning has been drawn up.
The BSH has planned the following steps for the revision process:
The Federal Ministry of the Interior started the revision of the spatial plans by informing the public and the concerned public bodies about the revision process pursuant to § 9 para. 1 ROG. Public authorities had the opportunity to provide information on the plans and measures they intend to take or have already taken, as well as on the time schedule for their implementation, and to make relevant information available.
From September to December 2019, the BSH conducted various thematic workshops and expert discussions on the topics of shipping, nature conservation, fisheries, underwater cultural heritage, defence and raw materials.
Taking into account the information received and the results of the workshops and expert discussions, the BSH has drawn up a concept for the revision of the maritime spatial plans. The concept considers three planning options with different areas of focus at an early stage in the revision process. At the same time, the draft scope of the environmental assessment was prepared.
Within the national process, a public hearing to discuss the concept and scope of the environmental assessment was held on 18 and 19 March 2020.
On 17 September 2020, the BSH defined the investigation framework for the strategic environmental assessment for the revision of the maritime spatial plans in the German EEZ of the North Sea and Baltic Sea.
The BSH has published the draft maritime spatial plan for the German EEZ in the North Sea and Baltic Sea as well as the environmental reports on 25 September 2020.
The documents are based on the results of the consultation on the concept for the revision of the maritime spatial plans and on the draft framework for the Strategic Environmental Assessment.
Details can be found in the public announcement.
Further information and the consultation documents (in German) are published here.
After the publication of the draft plan, authorities and the public had the opportunity to submit comments. In addition, a consultation meeting was offered as an online conference on 24 and 25 November 2020.
Based on the results of the national and international consultations in November 2020 and January 2021, respectively, the draft plan and the environmental reports were revised. The departments at national level, affected by the spatial plan, jointly agreed upon a draft plan during further consultations in April and May 2021. BMI and BSH prepared a second draft plan based on the results of that consultation.
The national consultation round on the second draft plan has been launched on 3 June 2021. Comments on the second draft and the revised environmental reports can be submitted until 25 June 2021.
The international consultation for the revision of the maritime spatial plans for the German EEZ started early in the process in the first quarter of 2020. Details and information on the international consultation procedures can be found in the notification document. It also includes information on the formal procedures (ESPOO) such as timelines and conditions for participation.
On 23 April 2020 an informal online meeting was held to inform international stakeholders about the progress of the revision process of the maritime spatial plans for the German EEZ.
The presentation on the MSP revision as well as the minutes of the meeting are available for download in the box below.
The BSH has published the translated documents of the draft maritime spatial plan, as well as the environmental reports. The documents are listed in the box below. Authorities and the public concerned in neighbouring countries had the opportunity to comment on the documents until the 15 January 2021.
In addition, an international consultation meeting was offered. This took place on 27 January 2021 as an online conference in English. Details can be found in the notification letter.
Based on the results of the national and international consultations in November 2020 and January 2021, respectively, the draft plan and the environmental reports were revised. The departments at national level, affected by the spatial plan, jointly agreed upon a draft plan during consultations rounds in April and May 2021. BMI and BSH prepared a second draft plan based on the results of that consultation.
The international consultation round on the second draft plan has been launched on 4 June 2021. Comments on certain amendments of the second draft maritime spatial plan and the revised environmental reports could be submitted until 30 June 2021.
An international information meeting was offered on 15 June 2021 as an online conference in English. Details can be found in the consultation letter.